Legally Yours,  Political Law

Peralta v. Director of Prisons

William Peralta was prosecuted for the crime of robbery and was sentenced to life imprisonment as defined and penalized by Act No. 65 of the National Assembly of the Republic of the Philippines. The petition for habeas corpus is based on the contention that the Court of Special and Exclusive Criminal Jurisdiction created by Ordinance No. 7 was a political instrumentality of the military forces of Japan and which is repugnant to the aims of the Commonwealth of the Philippines for it does not afford fair trial and impairs the constitutional rights of the accused.

1.    Is the creation of court by Ordinance No. 7 valid?
2.    Is the sentence of life imprisonment valid?
3.  By the principle of postliminy, did the punitive sentence cease to be valid from the time of the restoration of the Commonwealth?

There is no room for doubt to the validity of Ordinance No. 7 since the criminal jurisdiction established by the invader is drawn entirely from the law martial as defined in the usages of nations. It is merely a governmental agency. The sentence rendered, likewise, is good and valid since it was within the power and competence of the belligerent occupant to promulgate Act No. 65. All judgments of a political complexion of the courts during Japanese regime ceased to be valid upon reoccupation of the Islands, as such, the sentence which convicted the petitioner of a crime of a political complexion must be considered as having ceased to be valid.

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